This well balanced and fair story about doctors refusing to perform procedures and hand out prescriptions which conflict with their religious beliefs comes from the kings of objective media at MSNBC:
The story begins by focusing on Lori Boyer, a rape victim, who went to Good Samaritan Hospital in Lebanon, Pennsylvania to ask for a rape kit and talk to a sexual assault counselor.
Now, as Boyer watched Martin Gish, M.D., jot some final notes into her chart, she thought of something the rape counselor had mentioned earlier.
“I’ll need the morning-after pill,” she told him.
Dr. Gish looked up. He was a trim, middle-aged man with graying hair and, Boyer thought, an aloof manner. “No,” Boyer says he replied abruptly. “I can’t do that.” He turned back to his writing.
“It’s against my religion,” he said, according to Boyer.
A couple of things here. Describing the doctor as “aloof” and his reply as “abruptly” are words intended to paint a subjective and leading picture for you. A rape has occurred in this story and who is MSNBC making the bad guy? The doctor. No, not just the doctor…the RELIGIOUS doctor! Cue the evil sounding music.
Boyer left the emergency room empty-handed. “I was so vulnerable,” she says. “I felt victimized all over again. First the rape, and then the doctor making me feel powerless.” Later that day, her rape counselor found Boyer a physician who would prescribe her EC. But Boyer remained haunted by the ER doctor’s refusal — so profoundly, she hasn’t been to see a gynecologist in the two and a half years since. “I haven’t gotten the nerve up to go, for fear of being judged again,” she says.
Where did I miss the verbalized judgement in the “aloof” and “abrupt” reply from the doctor. Did he call her a name? Did he scream, “Get behind me Satan!”
Even under less dire circumstances than Boyer’s, it’s not always easy talking to your doctor about sex. Whether you’re asking about birth control, STDs or infertility, these discussions can be tinged with self-consciousness, even embarrassment. Now imagine those same conversations, but supercharged by the anxiety that your doctor might respond with moral condemnation — and actually refuse your requests.
Once again, there has been no moral condemnation in this story. All we have is a doctor saying it’s against his religion to give the morning after pill. It comes down to this. Do doctors surrender their rights as Americans? Are we not allowed to practice our faith outside church on Sundays?
And one more thing, no reporter in their right mind should ever use the word “supercharged.” It’s just a teensy bit…4th grade. I can almost hear the reporter thinking, “Hmmm, not just charged with anxiety. She was…Supercharged! Yes! I’m gonna get me my Pulitzer today.”
In a survey published this year in The New England Journal of Medicine, 63 percent of doctors said it is acceptable to tell patients they have moral objections to treatments, and 18 percent felt no obligation to refer patients elsewhere. So these wacky religious doctors are hardly out of the mainstream. Could it be…gasp…MSNBC is out of the mainstream?
“It’s obscene,” says Jamie D. Brooks, a former staff attorney for the National Health Law Program who continues to work on projects with the Los Angeles advocacy group. “Doctors swear an oath to serve their patients. But instead, they are allowing their religious beliefs to compromise patient care. And too often, the victims of this practice are women.”
Would it be okay if it were just hurting men?
Let’s just go over the facts of this media indictment. This reporter talked to four outraged woman and two hysterical lawyers on one side of the issue. For balance the reporter gave one quote to an actual physician but only after 1,014 words demonizing these doctors.
“The physician’s number-one creed is ‘First, do no harm,’ ” says Sandy Christiansen, M.D., an ob/gyn in Frederick, Maryland, who is active in the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, a 16,000-member group for health care professionals based in Bristol, Tennessee. “I know that life begins at conception, and that each person has inherent value. That includes the life of the unborn.” Dr. Christiansen says she will not give abortion referrals, opposes EC and, while she has prescribed birth control, is reconsidering the morality of that position. “Doctors are people, too,” she adds. “We have to be able to leave the hospital and live with ourselves. If you feel in your heart an action would cause harm to somebody — born or unborn — it’s legitimate to decline to participate.”
The story then goes back to the horrifying story about a victim who said she went to a doctor for birth control pills and the doctor gave her a mean look.
“The look he gave me actually made me feel ashamed,” Dotts says. “Like I had this wild and crazy sex life. Like he was trying to protect me from myself.” Her bewilderment quickly turned to anger — “I thought, ‘Wait, what in the world? Where am I?’ ” — especially when she remembered that her insurance covered only one annual gynecology checkup. Dotts, who’d majored in religion in college, got tough with the doctor.
“I’m glad for you that you’re faithful,” she told him. “But don’t push it on me. I’m here for my treatment, and I expect you to give it to me.” Five minutes of verbal sparring later, the doctor relented with a six-month prescription — but only after Dotts told him she had been put on the Pill to relieve menstrual cramping, not to prevent pregnancy. Dotts grabbed the prescription and left, resolving to find herself a new gynecologist. “Before, walking into a doctor’s office, I assumed we were on the same side,” she says. “I don’t make that assumption now.”
Being on the same side to this woman clearly means doing what she wants when she wants it. I love how the reporter puts in how the “victim” majored in religion in college. WHO CARES?
Another story comes from a single woman who was adopting a baby needed to prove she was healthy. The doctor refused saying he believed a child should have two parents.
The article states, “Bray says she tried to reason with Dr. Salley but received only an offer for a referral at some future date.” I love that. Bray tried to reason with the religious fanatic. It was left unsaid what this woman majored in at college.
I love this next part:
If there’s one thing both sides can agree on, it’s this: In an emergency, doctors need to put aside personal beliefs to do what’s best for the patient. But in a world guided by religious directives, even this can be a slippery proposition.
So we all agree on this…that is except people who believe in God, according to MSNBC. This is the biggest media hatchet job I’ve seen in a while -at least in the last few days. The saddest part about all this is I believe it’s going to get a lot worse in the near future. Let’s all hope I’m wrong.